Are you looking to increase profits?
If you find that you are losing money due to inefficiencies within your business, something is terribly wrong somewhere. While you may not be losing money in the traditional understanding of the word, you certainly aren’t profiting as you know you can. You have a great product but even though you are expanding sales, your profit margin isn’t as high as it should be. This is almost always due to less-than-efficient operating procedures in one or more departments. If you are looking to increase profits, start with a thorough overhaul of how things are done.
Don’t reinvent the wheel – stick with what you know
Having said that, don’t go overboard with improvements and changes. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, so start with what you know. From there, you can implement Lean strategies to increase profits by ridding your company of processes and methods which aren’t producing as they should. This is a basic concept of the Kanban strategy for Lean management. If you start with a better look at what you know about your products, it’s a matter of understanding what you can be doing to increase efficiency.
Focus more on research
This brings us to research. According to the Kanban strategy, businesses not realizing the profits they should be making are probably not taking the time to research and develop new, cost-effective processes. Often, the end result is the development of a Kanban board that is, in effect, a system of workflow management. Kanban boards are like traditional whiteboards, but instead of being tangible hard copy cork or whiteboards, it is an advanced software solution to manage workflow from order to shipment.
Waste has a huge impact on efficiency. From wasted manpower hours to wasted materials and efforts, it all subtracts from the profits your business should be making. If you can reduce waste by cutting the time between design and output, and all without sacrificing quality, you would see a huge rise in profits. Here is where research is of vital importance. You first must identify sources of waste in order to develop the changes needed to reduce and eliminate waste in literally every department.
Implement task management software
You may be advised at this point to utilize task management software based on a Kanban board. But, what is a Kanban board? Technically, you could look at it like a whiteboard diagram of every process from design to shipping. It is a digital visualization of project management. Each board is then comprised of Kanban cards, which are also digital. These outline each step along the way and are two-sided digital representations of the tasks each person or department needs to complete. Kanban task management software increases transparency, which also improves team performance. In simple terms, everyone knows what is expected of them, and when. Therefore, they know where they stand with the process before them. It makes it easier to be ready to complete your link in the chain.
You’ve heard the old saying about the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. This can be extremely detrimental in any business process because just a single breakdown in communication may lead to a breakdown in the process itself. Again, a work management software platform for Lean productions can help to eliminate the waste resulting from a breakdown in the chain of communications.
Single task to minimize time consuming distractions
Somewhere along the line having the ability to multitask has been over glorified. When it comes to business efficiency, this could be a huge inhibitor to productivity. Lose focus for just a moment and see where it gets you. The time wasted handling another task and then the time it takes to get back to what you were doing accounts for a great deal of waste across the board. Consider for just a moment how slowing down will slow every process following you as well. Kanban boards help each person stay focused on the task at hand because the software helps you design a workflow chart where each person can focus on only the jobs they are responsible for.
Project management, Lean, and Kanban software share some similarities, but Kanban is the original platform for increasing output and reducing waste without sacrificing quality and profit. Each type of software is dedicated to providing a central place to view a project, locate your tasks within the project, and then quickly and efficiently communicate with other members of your team if you have questions or want to share input, as the case may be. You can check off tasks which are complete so that the next team can get on their part of the project.
If you want to improve efficiency in your business, use a central meeting place like Kanban where every person involved in the project can stay in the loop without wasting precious time and resources. In other words, it is a direct relationship between waste reduction and output. That’s as simple as it gets.
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